Texas Democratic state Rep. Armando Walle said Sunday the cost of the stunt pulled by his party’s fleeing lawmakers could be as high as $1.5 million.
Walle, one of the Democrats who fled the state to avoid a vote on a Texas election reform bill, said the lawmakers are working to raise the necessary funds to cover the expenses.
“I think just personally, I’ve probably had five or six hundred of very small donations from working-class people who believe in the cause of saving democracy,” he told NBC News.
“That means a hell of a lot to me. That’s a shot in the arm to continue this fight,” he added.
According to the report, “Walle said the pair of private charter jets the majority of legislators took to Washington cost more than $100,000, while housing, food and other transportation costs will make up the bulk of other expenses.”
Citing Walle, The Hill reported, “The total number of funds received remains unknown, but he expects that it is at $250,000 so far.”
Visited with @AFLCIO President @RichardTrumka about the freedom to vote & Labor’a role in amplifying our collective voice to make voting more accessible and safe. If we have more access then we have say in flood-disaster relief, worker rights, & educational opportunities. #txlege pic.twitter.com/j0h8Dg2LDp
— Armando Walle (@RepWalle) July 16, 2021
Other liberal groups have raised money for the Texas effort as well.
Among the groups raising funds for the fleeing Democrats is former Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s Powered by People “voting rights” organization.
The group recently announced a matching gift of $5,000 from Willie and Annie Nelson “to support Texas Democrats in their fight for voting rights!”
“Let’s jump in there and fight back now, c’mon!”
BIG thanks to @WillieNelson and Annie Nelson for generously matching the next $5K in donations to support Texas Democrats in their fight for voting rights!
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) July 13, 2021
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People even offered to pay bail for Texas Democrats who have been threatened with arrest by Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
“War has been declared on democracy, and we will support anyone who stands up to defend it,” Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, said in a statement, according to The Hill.
“We are fully invested in good trouble,” he added.
“Once they step back into the state they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol and we will be conducting business,” he said.
The governor said that he will keep calling special sessions until Democrats stop taking their toys and running away.
“We have special sessions that last 30 days,” Abbott said. “And the governor calls them, and I will continue calling special session after special session because over time it is going to continue until they step up to vote.”
In an interview with KVUE-TV, Abbott doubled down on his statement that Democrats will pay a price.
“If they do not return to work, they are risking losing their jobs as state representatives for not showing up,” he said, adding, “What the House of Representatives can do, the speaker can do, is issue a call to have these members arrested.”
Abbott said he will keep calling special sessions until next year’s elections.
“And so if these people want to be hanging out wherever they’re hanging out on this taxpayer-paid junket, they’re going to have to be prepared to do it for well over a year,” the governor said. “As soon as they come back in the state of Texas, they will be arrested, they will be cabined inside the Texas Capitol until they get their job done.
“Everybody who has a job must show up to do that job, just like your viewers on watching right now. State representatives have that same responsibility.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.